VA Should Consider Less Costly Alternatives Before Constructing New Nursing Homes

HRD-82-114: Published: Sep 30, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1982.

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GAO evaluated the Veterans Administration (VA) planning criteria and processes used to justify proposed nursing home construction projects for the aging veteran population.

GAO found that VA used national demographic and needs projections to justify new nursing home construction without the benefit of additional information about the characteristics and resources of the primary service areas of the medical districts or centers. As a result, VA did not adequately consider its option of providing more nursing home care in community nursing homes by expanding its use of existing legislative authority to contract for care. In addition, VA did not adequately consider converting, renovating, or changing the mission of existing VA facilities to help meet the need for more nursing home beds. GAO concluded that more consideration should be given to local conditions and less costly alternatives to new construction.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of Veterans Affairs should: (1) supplement national projections with local information on actual and projected needs for nursing home care in each medical district; (2) consider meeting nursing home needs wherever possible through greater use of the contract community nursing home program; and (3) consider meeting nursing home needs by renovating, converting, or changing the mission of existing VA facilities.

    Agency Affected: Veterans Administration


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